[FoRK] Nanotubes, magical pixie dust for a new generation

Joseph S. Barrera III < joe at barrera.org > on > Sun Sep 17 16:55:44 PDT 2006

Why does it seem sometimes like nanotubes are magical pixie dust
that you can sprinkle on anything and make it better?

I mean, the list at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanotubes#Applications
is pretty impressive. And now we have an paper that says you can
just sprinkle nanotubes with stem cells (another big miracle technology)
and viola more amazing things occur. Of course.

I can't wait until we discover what HARM they do... 40 years from
now we'll have massive nanotube superfund cleanup sites...
people will react to "nanotube" like they do now to "asbestos"...
I mean, I hope not, but it always seems to go that way, doesn't it?

- Joe

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	[>Htech] Nanotubes a necessary catalyst for stem cell repair
Date: 	Sun, 17 Sep 2006 15:52:56 -0400
From: 	Hughes, James J. <James.Hughes at trincoll.edu>
Reply-To: 	transhumantech at yahoogroups.com
To: 	<transhumantech at yahoogroups.com>

Source:  	American Chemical Society
Date: 	September 17, 2006

Nanotechnology Propels Advances In Regenerative Medicine Research

The promise of regenerative medicine and the nanotechnology catapulting
it into the forefront of chemistry are highlighted in two papers
presented on Monday, Sept. 11, in San Francisco during the American
Chemical Society's 232nd national meeting.

Nanotubes help adult stem cells morph into neurons in brain-damaged rats

Carbon nanotubes - 80,000 times thinner than a human hair - enhance the
ability of adult stem cells to differentiate into healthy neurons in
stroke-damaged rat brains, according to American and South Korean

Thomas Webster, Ph.D., of Brown University in Providence, R.I, and
colleagues at Yonsei University in Seoul mixed nanotubes with adult rat
stem cells and then implanted the mixture into brain-damaged areas of
three rats that had suffered strokes. In six other rats that had
strokes, they implanted either adult stem cells or nanotubes - but not
both - into brain-damaged areas.

After following the animals for up to eight weeks, the researchers
concluded that neither nanotubes nor adult stem cells alone triggered
regeneration or repair in the brain-damaged regions. In fact, when used
alone, adult stem cells migrated to healthy areas of the brain. But when
combined with nanotubes, adult stem cells not only remained in the
brain-damaged regions, they began to differentiate into functioning
neurons. The finding could have important implications for the treatment
of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders,
Webster says.

Nanostructures promote formation of blood vessels, bolster
cardiovascular function after heart attack

Injecting nanoparticles into the hearts of mice that suffered heart
attacks helped restore cardiovascular function in these animals,
according to Samuel Stupp, Ph.D., chemist and director of the Institute
of Bionanotechnology in Medicine at Northwestern University in Evanston,

The finding is an important research advance that one day could help
rapidly restore cardiovascular function in people who have heart
disease, Stupp says. The self-assembling nanoparticles - made from
naturally occurring polysaccharides and molecules known as peptide
amphiphiles - boost chemical signals to nearby cells that induce
formation of new blood vessels and this may be the mechanism through
which they restore cardiovascular function. One month later, the hearts
of the treated mice were capable of contracting and pumping blood almost
as well as healthy mice.

In contrast, the hearts of untreated mice contracted about 50 percent
less than normal. In other recent studies using a similar technique,
Stupp and his colleagues found nanoparticles hastened wound healing in
rabbits and, after islet transplantation, cured diabetes in mice.
Nanoparticles with other chemical compositions accelerate bone repair in
rats and promote the growth of neurons in mice and rats with spinal cord
injuries, he says.

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